By Maddie Sievers
Gen eds: everyone’s least favorite classes to get out of the way! Luckily, there are a lot of different, easy, and interesting classes on the University of Illinois campus to knock out the general education requirements each and every student must complete before graduating. I have personally taken each of the following classes that I am recommending, so rest assured that these are all good options for those pesky gen-eds.
Advanced Composition: JOUR 200
Introduction to Journalism is a very easy class that requires minimal effort and is relatively useful and interesting. You’ll learn about fake news, news leads, and the changing media climate. When I took this class, the workload only included either an online quiz or 500-word assignment each week (both of which were very easy) and an online final exam, with questions from the quizzes throughout the semester.
Cultural Studies (Non-Western): ANTH 103
Anthropology in a Changing World is a relatively easy course to fulfill the Non-Western Cultural Studies requirement. Topics include the observation of other cultures, race, ethnicity, cultural practices, and more. It doesn’t take a lot of work as there are only a handful of exams and assignments, but a word to the wise is to be sure to stay on top of the readings!
Cultural Studies (Western): CMN 260
Intro to Health Communication is a 200-level class, but it is about as easy as a 100-level one. I found this class to be very helpful for real life, as you learn about health insurance, the U.S. healthcare climate, patient-provider communication, and lots of other topics that you will almost definitely encounter as a consumer of healthcare. Do yourself a favor and take this class to not only eliminate one of your gen-eds, but to become a more informed citizen in a country where healthcare is a hotly debated subject.
Humanities & The Arts: MACS 100
Taking Intro to Popular to TV and Movies is a no brainer. You literally get to watch movies and episodes of television shows as homework. When I took this class, I genuinely enjoyed all of the selected films and came away being able to evaluate the entertainment I watch on my own more critically. This was one of my favorite classes I have taken in college, so I would highly recommend that you take it!
Quantitative Reasoning I: STAT 100
As an advertising major, the only math class I was required to take was Statistics, which luckily also counted as a Quantitative Reasoning I gen-ed. Surprisingly, I really enjoyed this class. Personally, I do better with math when they are framed from a real-world perspective rather than being hypothetical or theoretical. This is a very useful class that even people who are bad at math, like myself, can succeed in.
Quantitative Reasoning II/Natural Sciences and Technology: ATMS 120
Perhaps one of the most famous classes on campus is Severe and Hazardous Weather, which likely gained its popularity from its former professor Eric Snodgrass. While he is unfortunately no longer at the university, don’t let that discourage you from taking this class. Not only is it very easy, but it teaches you a lot of useful information about natural disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes, and floods. For a Quantitative Reasoning II requirement, this is about as little math as you can get!